How to Treat Dry Skin on Feet

Tips for getting rid of dry skin on feet

Our feet work hard throughout the day, so it's no surprise dry or cracked feet are so common. But there are ways to relieve, hydrate and prevent feet from drying out.

What causes dry feet?

There are many reasons you might develop dry feet. Lifestyle can have a big impact, such as poor diet, lots of walking and exercise or a poor skin routine. No matter the cause, this article will help to advice you on how to treat dry feet, so you can start feeling instant relief.

Why do feet become dry or cracked?

The skin on our feet tends to become drier and cracked more than the rest of our body, due to the lack of any oil glands on the soles of the feet. The lack of oil leads to dehydration, which is one of the most significant causes of dry skin on the feet. Instead, the feet rely on the sweat glands to keep them moisturised.

Also, the foot is under constant pressure from standing, walking and exercising. The soles of the feet bear the brunt of our entire body weight, which can lead to the skin drying out and becoming hard. Particular peaks in the amounts of exercise or standing can have even greater effects, such as leading to sore cracks on the feet developing. This will be especially true when new to working the feet hard, such as starting a new exercise regime.

It's important to take good care of your feet by applying a nourishing foot lotion such as NIVEA Irresistibly Smooth Body Lotion. It is better to prevent dry or cracked feet than to treat it, so incorporating a moisturiser 2-3 times per week into your routine will be easier than using lotion to treat dryness. However, if you do develop dry feet, try using a foot lotion twice a day, once after your bath or shower and once before bed, to help rehydrate feet.


With a good skincare routine, treating dry skin on feet doesn't have to be an uphill struggle.

Cleanse, Exfoliate and Moisturise those dry feet!


When caring for dry feet, it is important to not only moisturise but to ensure that skin is thoroughly cleansed. Sweat and dirt can become trapped in dead cells which can be cause for the development of bacteria on the feet.

Thoroughly cleanse the feet with a body wash that won't dry the skin, such as NIVEA Rich Moisture Shower Cream. If it feels comfortable, and your feet aren't too sore or cracked, try a gentle exfoliation of the foot area a couple of times a week, or even use a pumice stone to help rid feet of dead skin.

NIVEA Rich Nourishing Body Lotion is ideal for applying after your morning shower, as it can absorb quickly into the skin. With moisture that lasts all day long, you can look forward to fresh, smooth and healthy looking feet in no time. Continued use after the problem's ended helps prevent new dryness or cracks forming.

Exfoliation, Exfoliation, Exfoliation!

If using a pumice stone, use before applying lotion, as it will help to reveal the new layers of skin underneath, allowing the lotion to easily absorb to healthier areas. When exfoliating, use gentle circles and thoroughly rinse afterwards, to help prevent dry skin becoming sore or leaving dry skin remaining on the foot area.

Your choice of sock matters

Your socks are in contact with your feet all day long, and if your feet are dry and cracked, it could mean bacteria is transferred from the sock to the foot or vice versa. Ensure you are always wearing clean socks. After exercising, make sure to immediately change your socks if you won't be able to shower straight afterwards and never rewear socks without washing them first.

It is important to have a sock that allows skin to breathe, for both when you have dry skin on the feet or to prevent dry skin. Cotton socks are much lighter and cooler as an option than synthetic socks, and will help prevent foot odours.

Top tips for taking care of dry feet

  • - Prevention is better than treatment! Ensure you have a good diet and skincare routine, as these will help to stop skin from drying out.
  • - Make sure you're drinking enough water - a lack of hydration will have an impact on your skin. Specifically, dehydration will stimulate dry skin on your feet remaining.
  • - Increase circulation to the feet; by improving diet, exercising more, maintaining a health weight, not smoking and improving leg posture.
  • - Use a humidifier to stop the air around you from drying out. If the air dries out too much, it can lead to skin drying out too, causing dry skin on the feet.
  • - Try to shower and bath in lukewarm water instead of hot. If the temperature is too hot it'll lead to dry and often sore skin.
  • - Use products designed to provide hydration to the skin, and avoid any products with too much ethyl alcohol in them.
  • - Try an in-shower body milk, such as our NIVEA In-Shower Body Moisturiser for Dry Skin, to help prevent dry skin on the feet caused by hot showers.

Resist the temptation to scratch dry feet

Dry skin on feet can be itchy and uncomfortable, however it is important not to scratch. Scratching can lead to a spread in bacteria, and can also lead to skin on the feet cracking and start to cut. With the spread of bacteria, this can lead to infections or other unpleasant foot problems. It can also lead to sore feet. Instead, try applying a cold flannel to gently soothe the itchy feet, or gently cleanse, exfoliate and moisturise.

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